Although it seems like many have gotten the memo to not use kids to heavily push their agenda, the hardcore green crowd still seems set on convincing families from the youngest on up. So when I came across this story about a “Green Team” of students from Sun Valley elementary school in San Rafael, California, petitioning Crayola to take back and recycle used markers, it was impossible not to hear the grown up agenda put into the kids’ mouths.
According to the online petition, the kids are “asking Crayola to make sure these markers don’t end up in our landfills, incinerators and oceans.”
Now you tell me, when was the last time you heard an elementary kid casually throw around the term “incinerators”? What I can believe is many of the kids saying that they like markers, but they don’t like the idea of hurting Earth.
Although the kids are (as of this date) close to nailing their goal of 75,000 signatures, according to MSNBC, Crayola has already stated that it is unlikely to change:
Crayola acknowledged the good intentions but said that, for now at least, there’s no practical way to take back and recycle entire markers.
“We value and encourage children to share their ideas and appreciate the suggestion that the students of Sun Valley brought to our attention,” Crayola spokeswoman Stacy Gabrielle told msnbc.com. “At this time, we do not have the facilities or a process that will enable us to offer a take back program.”
In describing Crayola’s environmental initiatives, Gabrielle did note that the caps on each marker can be recycled at centers that take polypropylene, one of the least recyclable plastics.
Inevitably, there is actually a legitimate issue buried beneath the kid manipulation tactics: Crayola makes 500 million markers each year — enough to circle (and perhaps doodle) the earth three times over. That’s an awful lot of waste from a product that is only partially recyclable as is.
I still don’t see this elementary school Green Team boycotting Crayola any time soon. Maybe by the time they get to middle school, Xcel Energy will have stopped exaggerating their savings numbers in their LivingWise kit, too, but I’m not holding my breath.
As for the Crayola issue, here’s the students video (I’ll admit my jealousy over the one girl’s birthday hat):
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